The Air Force is highly reliant on electricity. The modern force requires power for command and control of aircraft, the resources supporting them, and the personnel using them. If power is lost, mission capability is drastically reduced.
The Airmen responsible for the power used by Air Force personnel and equipment is the Power Production (Power Pros, 3E0X2) community, responsible for equipment both small and large that are essential to the mission.
Duties and Responsibilities
Airmen in this specialty are responsible for ensuring that generators, aircraft arresting systems (crash barriers and nets), automatic transfer switches, and other essential power generation and control equipment are in place and operating.
Generators are the bread and butter of this career field. These airmen work to ensure all backup generators are working by performing load tests, preventative maintenance, and repairing any equipment.
They must be able to interpret wiring diagrams and schematics. They need to be able to systematically troubleshoot and repair generators ranging in size from 3KW (3000 Watts) to multiple units synchronized and powering an entire base (800KW or more).
While generators are the mainstay of the Power Pros (as they call themselves), they are also responsible for ensuring the accessory equipment used with the generators are functional and repaired if necessary. Examples of this equipment are power distribution panels and automatic transfer switches.
The people in this career field are able to be assigned to virtually any Air Force Base, in the continental United States or overseas.
Qualifications for Power Production
To be considered qualified to work in the power production field, you should have an aptitude for electronics and electricity, as well as a capacity for engines and chassis repair.
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is broken down into 10 subsections which measure aptitudes in specific areas. For power production, you'll need to have a minimum electrical (EI) score of 40 and a mechanical (MC) score of 56. You'll also need to have normal color vision, as generator wiring is color-coded.
You'll first complete the Air Force eight-and-a-half-week basic military training. After basic, you'll be sent to attend and complete technical training, located at Sheppard Air Force Base, in Wichita Falls, Texas.
If you've ever been through a power outage and had the power come back on, you have been on the receiving end of Power Pro skills. There is a wide spectrum of civilian jobs in the power industry related to this career field. Generators at critical facilities such as hospitals and grocery stores need maintenance.
Government facilities and the public need power, and power companies need skilled technicians. This is a highly transferable skill that you should consider if you are considering the United States military and are mechanically inclined.